Monkey’s Successful Pig Kidney Transplant Sparks Optimism Amid Organ Shortage

Researchers at eGenesis and Harvard Medical School have successfully transplanted a genetically engineered pig kidney into a monkey, which survived for over two years. This breakthrough could potentially address the global shortage of organ donors for patients with organ failure. The scientists made 69 genomic edits to the pig kidneys, making them more compatible with the monkey’s immune system and reducing rejection. The transplanted kidneys contained three types of edits, including the knockout of genes involved in rejection, insertion of human transgenes that modulate rejection and immune responses, and inactivation of retroviruses in the pig genome. The results showed that the kidneys with the edited genes resulted in longer survival times, with one monkey surviving for over two years. The study demonstrates progress in editing the pig genome to enhance recipient compatibility and minimize rejection, and the researchers anticipate even more favorable results when transplanting the gene-edited organs into humans.

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